Leveraging 'People' Power of Sustainability
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During the financial year 2015-16, India recorded highest ever tea production and exports breach 230 million Kg mark after 35 years. As a regulator and promoter of Indian tea, Tea Board of India successfully put in place a number of quality control initiatives during harvesting, processing and pre-shipment inspections through enforcement of Plant Protection Formulations (PPF) at the garden level and Food Management Safety System/HACCP/ISO 22000 at the factory level on the supply side.
On the demand side, Tea Board India undertook participation in major international trade fairs, exchanges of trade delegations along with dedicated buyer-seller meets in the key orthodox markets in order to propagate the health and wellness benefits of India tea amongst the streaming visitors and continually strive to eliminate trade-inhibiting factors.
Darjeeling tea should be cherished as a distinctive unique product having age-long legacy (first planted in early 19th century) and ethereal taste, whose flavor, aroma & taste can be attributed to its Geographical Indication status giving it the stature of a fine vintage wine. In 2015-16, 8.84 million kg of Darjeeling tea was produced of which nearly 30% was exported globally.
Darjeeling (Word & logo)” are registered in Australia as the “Certification Mark”, which is a strong Intellectual Property in Australia. Moreover, “Darjeeling Tea” is registered as GI under the Indian Law, which Australia Government should endeavour to protect by dint of it being home protected under the TRIPS Agreement of WTO.
My message to the tea drinkers in Australia is that India has the unique distinction of being one of the largest producers and consumers of tea in the world. By dint of its diverse agro-climatic regions producing distinct origin teas, India has offerings for every palate and mood. Moreover, in the recent past, Tea Board of India has taken several quality-related and safety-related measures in order to ensure export of quality and safe teas.
Australia continued with its proclivity for premium tea in 2015. With more-discerning palates and product knowledge levels increasing, consumers in Australia shifted from mainstream tea to more specialists, premium offerings, which India will be in a position to match.
This novel awareness programme (Experience The First Flash @ Darjeeling Appreciating The Nature/Nurture Bond, an Aei4ieA initiative supported by India Tourism Sydney) is expected to familiarize the discerning consumers in Australia about the strong bond that exists between the pristine nature and Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCE) associated with the local customs and more.
Shri Santosh Sarangi, IAS
Tea Board of India
(Govt. of India).